What are you looking at? Haven’t you ever seen a fully fleshed out character on television, with desires, idiosyncrasies and flaws? Real people on screen who just happen to be paralyzed? For some, the answer is yes, but for others, it is a different story all together.
An article from TVDoneWright.com has captured the attention of our firm’s spinal cord injury lawyers in San Diego. One man, who runs and writes the blog, is a differently abled critic with some problems concerning Artie, a paralyzed character on Fox’s hit-com ‘Glee’.
Have shows like ‘Glee’ and ‘Lost’ categorized paralyzed characters as victims of their condition?
The title of his latest blog is “Artie of ‘Glee’, Why The Pitiful Victim’, which goes on to describe how the paraplegic character of Artie was set up as a boy living with paralysis who had goals, but also knew his limitations. The most recent episode, however, has him dreaming of a day he can walk and dance, but when he attempts to do so, he ends up falling down and lying on the floor helpless.
Recently there have been a surge of paralyzed or differently abled actors who are fighting for roles that go beyond their paralysis. When they get reduced to stereotypes, the strength and realism deflates from the people portrayed on screen.
The article recognizes that television, like any artistic medium, has to have an emotional core and dramatic structure to add tension and conflict between characters. But Wright goes on to question why the show made viewers feel sorry for Artie when in reality that was the last thing he would want?
Other programs, such as ABC’s ‘Lost’, are also being called into question. The show has set up an alternate universe where the character of John Locke is paralyzed from the waist down. His doctor friend, Jack, says that he can “fix” Locke’s spinal cord injury, implying that by alleviating Locke’s physical imprisonment and finding a “cure” — the mystery of the entire series will be solved. No paralysis, no problem.
Our firm’s San Diego spinal cord injury lawyers know as well as any one that anyone living with paralysis doesn’t want their disability to be the main focus of who they are. People are more complex and dynamic to be reduced to physical limitations. While we still will support and advocate a such for a cure for paralysis, we hope that television shows and movies create a more intricate portrait of people who are so much more than the wheelchair they ride around in.
If you or someone you know has a spinal cord injury or was paralyzed during an accident, contact our bilingual San Diego law firm at 1-858-551-2090 for a FREE consultation with an experienced spinal cord injury lawyers. You may also click here and submit your case for a FREE online review. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you owe nothing until we recover a fair settlement on your behalf.